Family Planning

1. What health care can women receive during pregnancy and childbirth?
There are many Prenatal Education Programs in Canada that can be used by woman during pregnancy. Visit your nearest Community Health Centre and ask about such programs. Most of them are free. For example, Toronto Mount Sinai Hospital offers the following prenatal classes, which are taught by experienced health-care professionals:
•Preparing for Childbirth Series
•Preparing for Childbirth and Parenting Series
•Preparing for Multiples Class Series
•Labour and Birth Refresher Course
•Comfort Measures Class
•Infant/Child CPR
•Meet the Anaesthesiologist
•Prenatal Hospital Tour
•Feeding Your Baby - 6 Months and Beyond
•Infant Massage

2. How can I care for a newborn?
The Canadian Public Health Association published (in 12 languages) a booklet Taking Care of You and Your Baby, where new mothers will find basic health and safety information for mothers, regarding babies and toddlers. In particular, you will find the following advice about how to take care of your baby’s health:
•Bath Time
•Changing a Diaper
•Baby’s Laundry
•Feeding Your Baby
•Food Safety
•Starting Solid Foods
•Food, Teeth and Gums
•Fighting Disease
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3. May I return to my job after childbirth?
According to the Employment Standards Act, an organization in which you work full or part-time must provide you with unpaid maternity leave for up to 17 weeks before child birth and up to 35 weeks after giving birth with the right to return to your job. However, to obtain such a leave, you have to have worked in this organization for at least 13 weeks. You may decide to take a shorter leave if you wish. However, once you have started pregnancy leave, you must take it all at once. Inform your employer that you intend to go on maternity leave two weeks prior to departure, so that he can find another employee to perform your duties. If you decide to return to work sooner, notify the employer four weeks in advance, so that preparations can be made for your return to the workplace. In most cases, you are entitled to the same job you had before the leave began or a comparable job, if your old job no longer exists. If you are offered a comparable job you must be paid at least as much as you were earning before the leave.

4. How does the government pay maternity leave?
Terms of payment of maternity leave are specified in the Employment Insurance Act. Payments are made from social security funds, but you must have SIN (Social Insurance Number), which all Canadian citizens and persons who have received the legal status of immigrants have. With this card you have to apply to the local branch of Service Canada for benefits as soon as possible, no later than four weeks after you've gone on leave. The amount of benefits depends on your salary and on the length of time you have worked. In 2015, the maximum amount of maternity leave was $524 per week. If you want to know more about maternity leave, call the "Service Canada's Employment Insurance Automated Telephone Information Service” toll-free number 1-800-206-7218.

5. How can I use birth control?
Birth control is used everywhere in Canada, and it is a personal choice. Some common types of birth control include:
•Condoms (male and female)
•Contraceptive sponge, foam, and jelly
•Intrauterine device (IUD)
•Birth control pill ("the pill")
•Contraceptive injections (Depo-Provera)
•Emergency contraceptive pill
•Natural family planning
Source: What types of birth control can I get in Ontario

6. Is abortion legal in Canada?
In Canada, abortion is legal between 4 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in some cases even longer. There are usually several reasons why women decide to have an abortion. Some of these are:
•Not being ready to raise a child.
•Lack of partner's support, absence of a partner, being in an abusive relationship.
•Need to complete education or keep a job.
•Having to raise other children.
•Financial situation and the lack of social support.
•Health problems.
•Pregnancies caused by incest or rape.
•Fetal abnormalities.
The woman is not obliged to explain why she wants to have an abortion. Abortions are performed in a medical centre or in a hospital under the direction of the family doctor. For persons with a health insurance card, abortion is free of charge. In the absence of insurance an abortion can cost between 500 and 1,000 dollars. The operation takes approximately 10 minutes. The procedure is only effective in terminating an existing pregnancy and does not prevent a new pregnancy.

7. How much do I have to pay for childbirth if I do not have health insurance?
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Ontario pays for midwife services even if you do not have OHIP, but you have to pay up to $100 for tests. Childbirth in a hospital if it is a low-risk birth usually costs $500, and high-risk births can cost up to $5,000. If you have private insurance, then it should offer coverage for pregnancy and childbirth. Midwives for observation and treatment before and after the baby is born can be obtained free from a Community Health Centre depending on your financial situation. To find a Community Health Centre call 1-866-532-3161. Also, free assistance is provided by the organization "Diversity Midwives". In the absence of health insurance and in the case of a low-risk birth, it is often better to give birth at home with the help of a midwife. Some midwifery clinics serve pregnant women who do not have OHIP. If you do not have OHIP, contact the midwifery clinic serving your area and find out whether you can receive their services.
Source: How much does it cost to get care from a midwife?

8. Where can I obtain a birth certificate?
A child's birth certificate is necessary in order to get all the benefits and programs provided in Canada for your child: to obtain financial assistance, get a social insurance number, a health card, driver’s licence, passport, etc. To obtain a birth certificate you must first get a Statement of Live Birth, which is issued by the hospital, or if the child was born at home, the Statement of Live Birth may be issued by a certified midwife. To get a birth certificate you should the visit the Office of the Registrar General. Also you can use the 4-in-1 Newborn Bundle which includes: Birth Registration, Birth Certificate, Social Insurance Number and Canada Child Benefits.

9. Where can I find sources of additional information about family planning in Canada?
Pregnancy and parental leave
Employment insurance maternity and parental benefits
Giving Birth in a New Land. A Guide for Women New to Canada and Their Families